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Neil Middlemiss

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Neil Middlemiss

Love, Simon UHD Review
Love_simon_Picture-1024x683.jpg



Love, Simon is charming, sweet, fun and playful even while it deals with a supremely important subject of coming out. There is meaningful drama nestled amongst the playfulness, and while the film explores an intimate and important subject, it does so in a lighthearted way that doesn’t diminish the impact or importance of the central journey Simon undertakes.

[review]
 

Mark-W

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Neil,

This is a terrific review! I completely agree on most counts including all but the commentary track and the behind the scenes that include the author of the young adult novel feel very "made as a promo-reel" shallow.

As someone who was closeted in 1983 and works with 20 somethings in an urban setting, I found it hard to connect to Simon’s struggle until it clicked that
Simon isn’t that worried about being outed, but he is desperate to keep his relationship with Blue going. It is the one time he has found himself not "holding his breath," and he knows that will end if their correspondence is exposed.
.

Within that prism, I understand his actions. The deleted scenes are okay, but I am glad they were deleted.

Thanks again!
 
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KeithDA

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This is only getting a poxy DVD release here in the UK... :unsure:
I'm surprised, as I thought box office for this was quite good...
 
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Big Gay Andy

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I thought it was well done, but it didn't have anywhere near the emotional impact on me that Latter Days or Brokeback Mountain or God's Own Country or Call Me By Your Name or Man in An Orange Shirt or the French feature Hidden Kisses did. All very highly recommended.
 

Will Krupp

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I agree, great review Neil!

The deleted scenes are okay, but I am glad they were deleted.

See Mark, I LOVED the deleted scene set in Simon's first trip to a gay bar and the family "confrontation" that followed. I wish we could have "seen" it in the body of the film but it's obvious that its tone disrupts the emotional arc they were trying to achieve after Simon's outing so I can certainly understand why it had to go (and let's face it, the movie is long enough as it is!)

I thought it was well done, but it didn't have anywhere near the emotional impact on me that Latter Days or Brokeback Mountain or God's Own Country or Call Me By Your Name or Man in An Orange Shirt or the French feature Hidden Kisses did. All very highly recommended.

In fairness Andy, and welcome to HTF by the way, I don't know that it's necessarily a film for "us." It DOES lack the emotional impact of other gay films that have come down the pike, films that carry with them the weight of emotion that many of us have survived and endured, but I think the light "John Hughes fantasy" on display here is entirely intentional. It's a film for a new generation that doesn't have our hangups and is ready for a silly little romantic comedy that ISN'T earth shaking in terms of the story its telling.

A very dear friend of mine (also gay) has a 14 year old gay nephew visiting from Texas (out at 14!! Texas!! My mind reels!) and the whole family went to a local amusement park the other day. This kid took a picture of the ferris wheel and posted it to Instagram (which he isn't supposed to even "have" by the way) with the caption "Still waiting for blue." It struck me that this movie is going to be a cultural touchpoint for an entirely new generation of gaylings growing up without the stigma of the past. I can't help but feel it's the symbol of a good thing.
 
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Big Gay Andy

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"Gaylings" -- I love it!!!

By the way, when I was a gayling myself, I came out to my parents when I was 12!!! They didn't take it too well -- especially considering that I told them less than a month before my Bar Mitzvah!!! And this was way back in 1975!!!
 

Will Krupp

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"Gaylings" -- I love it!!!

By the way, when I was a gayling myself, I came out to my parents when I was 12!!! They didn't take it too well -- especially considering that I told them less than a month before my Bar Mitzvah!!! And this was way back in 1975!!!

I BOW TO YOU, SIR!!!
 

Mark-W

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I thought it was well done, but it didn't have anywhere near the emotional impact on me that Latter Days or Brokeback Mountain or God's Own Country or Call Me By Your Name or Man in An Orange Shirt or the French feature Hidden Kisses did. All very highly recommended.

I agree, great review Neil!



See Mark, I LOVED the deleted scene set in Simon's first trip to a gay bar and the family "confrontation" that followed. I wish we could have "seen" it in the body of the film but it's obvious that its tone disrupts the emotional arc they were trying to achieve after Simon's outing so I can certainly understand why it had to go (and let's face it, the movie is long enough as it is!)



In fairness Andy, and welcome to HTF by the way, I don't know that it's necessarily a film for "us." It DOES lack the emotional impact of other gay films that have come down the pike, films that carry with them the weight of emotion that many of us have survived and endured, but I think the light "John Hughes fantasy" on display here is entirely intentional. It's a film for a new generation that doesn't have our hangups and is ready for a silly little romantic comedy that ISN'T earth shaking in terms of the story its telling.

A very dear friend of mine (also gay) has a 14 year old gay nephew visiting from Texas (out at 14!! Texas!! My mind reels!) and the whole family went to a local amusement park the other day. This kid took a picture of the ferris wheel and posted it to Instagram (which he isn't supposed to even "have" by the way) with the caption "Still waiting for blue." It struck me that this movie is going to be a cultural touchpoint for an entirely new generation of gaylings growing up without the stigma of the past. I can't help but feel it's the symbol of a good thing.

Another beautifully written response, Will.

I would like to say, too, Welcome Big Gay Andy!

Another gay-centric, set-during-high-school-years film is Being 17, which I would highly recommend. It has a lot to say about family, race, maleness and little, if anything, to say about being a teenager. It has elements it shares with several of the films you mentioned.

As Will said, and I agree, Love, Simon has a very specifical goal of being a mainstream teenage rom-com deliberately in the John Hughes manner, and it succeeds beyond my expectations on that level. It made lots of money and even critics are hoping it helps teenage rom coms move past the teen-with-terminal-illness-romances that have been a thing now since The Fault in our Stars.

The tension in Love, Simon is not "What would happen if he is outed?" It is "Who is Blue and will he and Simon end up together?" It starts with the operating assumption that being gay is acceptable, and homophobia should not be tolerated and those that engage in it are seen as losers. That is fresh and far from where John Hughes films placed us.

I saw Love, Simon twice theatrically, once a week before it opened in a special preview showing, and then again about six weeks later, both times in the deep suburbs heavily populated with soccer moms. Both times the audiences I saw it with was mostly straight, lots of teenage girls and the aforementioned moms, and both times the audience, to my surprise, clapped when it was over. There was a gaggle of what appeared to be soccer moms sitting directly in front me at my second screening, and the one on the left end turned to the other three as the credits were rolling and said, "That was so wonderful! Best movie I have seen since The Shape of Water."

I would have loved the same kind of reaction to Call Me By Your Name, but CMBYN was never going to be mainstream and it was not designed to be.

What is amazing, is that unlike Philadelphia, as an LGBT person, I did not feel estranged from Love, Simon the way I and my friends felt, which I remember most vividly as we left the premier showing of that Tom Hanks film. "That wasn't for us," my friend Matthew quipped afterward. Exactly. It was designed to have the audience identify with Denzel Washington's character as he moves from homophobic to cautiously-accepting of gay people at the end of the film as we watch that guy we liked from Sleepless in Seattle die in a sanitized portrayal of a gay person which none of my friends recognized themselves in.

I cannot tell you all the hundreds of reasons why I left the theater feeling included by Love, Simon and excluded by Philadelphia. I can say, that I love now, that the actor that plays Blue is out as bisexual and has a great song he sings (available on Amazon) about needing to kiss another fella, and I love that I have another movie that fills me with happiness as I watch it and a lite film to watch in my LGBT film library that has, frankly, too many films about death, dying, struggle and pain. (And there are a plethora of poorly-made LGBT rom-coms with bad acting, bad scripts, that are borderline painful to watch even as we try to love them with their deficiencies because they are about us and for us.)

I love that the gaylings out there now, with Love, Simon have a film that made them visible and if they are black, gay, and fem, they are accepted, appreciated, and visible in a mainstream movie that they don't need their parents' permission to go see.

Call Me By Your Name is a very special film, and one, that based on my actions, is one that has had a more profound impact on me than any other LGBT film ever, but, sometimes I want that Halloween, orange-colored Oreo and not a peach.
 
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Big Gay Andy

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Are you saying that you can do the same thing with a Halloween orange-colored Oreo cookie that Timothee Chalamet did with the peach?
 

Will Krupp

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Well said, Mark!!

My feelings regarding PHILADELPHIA are well documented so I'll not beat a dead horse! (Though if there was ever a horse that deserved a good beating....)

I can say, that I love now, that the actor that plays Blue is out as bisexual and has a great song he sings (available on Amazon) about needing to kiss another fella, and I love that I have another movie that fills me with happiness as I watch it

I did not know that, but it makes sense! That means that ALL of the actors playing the potential "blues" are out actors. I think they were trying to trick us with gay herrings!

And, of course we can always dream, can't we?
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EricSchulz

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I recently rented this, having missed it in the theaters, and felt it was required viewing before watching Love, Victor (the sequel now on Hulu). I'm SO glad I did! The cast of teens were great (I love Katherine Langford after seeing her in the first season of 13 Reasons Why) and I agree that this was a different "type" of movie aimed at a different audience with a different outlook on the LGBTQ+ community. As a gay man who was closeted to almost everyone until his late 20's (and even then having my gay friends and straight friends are two separate and distinct circles) this spoke to me. It is so refreshing to see teens that are out and proud and SUPPORTED by their family and friends. I really want to read the book now!

As an aside (I don't know if there's a thread for it available), Love, Victor is good, but not great. It takes place in the same high school and Victor is in touch with Simon via texts/emails for advice on coming out. My problem with it stems from there being too many side stories to help fill the ten episodes and they definitely didn't want to just rehash the same story with a new cast. The stories that work are really good, but it could have been better
 

EricSchulz

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I started a thread for Love, Victor if anyone has, or is thinking of watching it:
 

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